Crazy On The Outside Tim Allen

Crazy On The Outside Tim Allen
For such a collaborative and economically driven art form, much is made about the potential for film as a means of personal expression. In 8 ½, Federico Fellini dramatized his own creative ennui in the form of Marcello Mastroianni's aimless film director, while Annie Hall closely mirrored the trajectory of Woody Allen's real-life relationship with Diane Keaton. Now, in Tim Allen's directorial debut, Crazy on the Outside, we find Allen playing an ex-convict just released from prison trying to rebuild without being tempted back into a life of crime by mob boss Ray Liotta, a situation that perhaps resonated with real-life ex-con Allen. I know, I know, but crafting convoluted auteurist theories is really the only way to keep oneself occupied during this bland, pitiable little film. The predictable, yet shapeless and momentum-free, story sees Allen moving in with his eternally patient sister (Sigourney Weaver) after serving three years on DVD piracy charges, falling in love with his probation officer (Jean Tripplehorne), but still entranced by his borderline-nymphomaniac, estranged girlfriend (a crudely sexist caricature played by Julie Brown). Allen as director never strikes an appropriate tone, shifting abruptly between deadpan absurdity and sloppy sentimentality, and characters who are either completely sincere or cartoon-level stereotypes. Allen gets a lot of well-deserved scorn for his horrible choices in film roles, and Crazy on the Outside is only midrange Allen fare at best (read: still pretty horrible), but I will say this: it benefits from Allen's relaxed, likeable screen persona. There's a certain lack of pretension to his witty everyman character that is appealing. I just hope I see him in a good movie one of these days. DVD extras are limited to a disposable gag reel and a two-minute "documentary" called "Inside Crazy on the Outside" (see what they did there?), in which Kelsey Grammer says with a straight face, "For Tim Allen, I'll do anything, because he's the funniest guy alive." (E1)